Tachyon tidbits featuring Lauren Beukes, Ellen Datlow, Peter S. Beagle, and Nalo Hopkinson

The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.


Lauren Beukes (image: LaurenBeukes.com), Ellen Datlow (THIS IS HORROR), Peter S. Beagle, and Nalo Hopkinson (David Findlay)

RivkaT praises Lauren Beukes’ debut collection SLIPPING: STORIES, ESSAYS, & OTHER WRITING.

Mostly cyberpunkish stories, with a few nonfiction essays on similar themes (living in a globalizing, multicultural South Africa where poverty and violence can either be around every corner or almost invisible). I enjoyed the stories a lot and they would make a great introduction to Beukes; sometimes the cyberpunkish vibe can get wearing in a longer book.


ERRANT DREAMS gives Ellen Datlow’s forthcoming anthology NIGHTMARES: A NEW DECADE OF MODERN HORROR 4.5 out of 5.

In Brian Hodge’s “Our Turn Too Will One Day Come,” our narrator has been gaslighted by his family for years (every time he sees something suspicious they assure him nothing’s going on). Now he has to help hide a murder, and at the same time he finds out what is really going on with his family. Hodge’s story was one of my favorites–well written, full of personality, and creepy.

Kaaron Warren’s “Dead Sea Fruit” is surreal, following the idea that a simple kiss can divulge a person’s secrets. I loved this concept. One of my other favorite stories is “Closet Dreams” by Lisa Tuttle. A child has been kidnapped and assaulted (that deserves a trigger warning). She starts trying to imagine her escape, just to have something to do, some bit of hope to hold onto. But of course it doesn’t end there…

Nicholas Royle’s excellent “Very Low-Flying Aircraft” involves a beach and a pilot who’s too good at what he does. You can see the end coming, but in this case that’s good: it allows the tension to hit hard and fast. Steve Duffy’s “The Clay Party” follows 48 people, seven families, as they try to take a wagon train to California using an unusual route that Mr. Clay (the instigator) insists will get them there faster. The story is fascinating. The group runs into so many troubles, and things take several weird turns. Ultimately, I really liked it.


One of my favorites was John Langan’s “The Shallows”. I read this once before a couple of years ago, and yet I still remember it. Given how terrible my memory is, that’s high praise–it means it was fascinating enough to stick with me all that time. It’s a very Old Gods sort of tale, and the imagery is fabulous.

There are certainly tales in here that I didn’t enjoy for one reason or another, but there’s a great array of wonderful ones as well. I’d absolutely recommend it to my horror-loving friends.

Stephen Case at

It works though, assuming a reader can trust Beagle long enough to invest in these characters without being turned off by the distinct lack of magic or adventure in the first several pages. Beagle still does magic here, but he does it in a manner more poignant than most because the “second world” he constructs in Summerlong—complete with its laws of magic, its kingdoms and its heroes—is our own. That is, he takes us to a completely new place, and we find out to our dismay and chagrin that it is our own backyard. This is urban fantasy (or, more accurately, “American northwestern fantasy”) at its best, where all the power of the magic comes through Beagle’s masterful handling of the real things: the coming of spring, the daggers of passion, the inevitability of departure on a landscape of gorgeously realistic prose.


Sure, Lioness can raise flowers from mere dirt and then make them disappear again, and the characters encounter the darker magic of her jilted husband as well, but in and around all this Beagle is more interested in using brushes with the supernatural to highlight the truer significance of the natural: loons on the water, blues harmonics, and summer rainstorms.

If that sounds trite, it would be in the hands of a lesser writer. Though Beagle’s prose doesn’t catch at your throat in the way it did in The Last Unicorn (which I can’t quote from right now because my copy is buried somewhere in my daughter’s bedroom), what Beagle does much better here is craft real conversations between real people. It’s these conversations, what they say about how people react to the unreal in their lives and what they imply for how relationships grow, flourish, and wither, that will stay with you when the story is concluded.

At BOOK RIOT,  Angel Cruz included Nalo Hopkinson’s FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS on the list of 100 Must-Read
Retellings Of Myths, Folklore, And Classics

Retellings of classic stories and folklore are easy to find no matter what genre you love to read, and the possibilities are endless. Whether you’re obsessed with Greek myths or intrigued by Japanese folklore, this list is sure to have a title or two that can offer a great introduction to these beloved stories across the world. (And I’ve starred my favourites for easy reference!)


[Several European myths]

While Katie McLain’s 100 Must-Read Books
About Monsters
listing on BOOK RIOT doesn’t include any Tachyon titles, it does make mention of Tachyon authors Jeff Vandermeer and Lauren Beukes.

For more info about SLIPPING: STORIES, ESSAYS, & OTHER WRITING, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover art by Clara Bacou

Design by Elizabeth Story

For more info about NIGHTMARES: A NEW DECADE OF MODERN HORROR, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover art by Nihil

Design by Elizabeth Story

For more info on SUMMERLONG, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover art by Magdalena Korzeniewska

Design by Elizabeth Story

For more info on FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover art by Chuma Hill

Design by Elizabeth Story